New Product and Expansion Development Process – What do I do? AND Not do?

New Product Development (NPD) is a process that is different for each organization. Some organizations take as little as 30 days to go to market and other organizations have a longer process taking from 6 months up to a year.

What is the right process?

The process depends on the organizational structure and the products/services they are offering. It is important to continuously look at the process because of the fast-moving technological world we live in. The duration from ideation to launching the product depends on the target audience, the goals of the organization, resources available and of course, as always, the budget and expected return on investment.

There are some key questions when deciding how long the process will take and what is needed for the product to succeed. Is the new product an enhancement of a current product? Is this a new product but to the current customers or a new customer base? What resources are needed internally and externally? What are the organization’s expectations? Is the product a soft or hard launch? Is the new product local, national or international?

A new product can increase the acquisition of new customers; growth of current customer ROI; open or broaden to a new market or industry; improve or push a company’s resources; increase market share within the industry.

There are obstacles and challenges in developing new products and there are times when the odds are higher than the successes. It is important for the companies and the employees to understand the consequences, the markets, the competitors and the target market. What are the costs to develop and launch new products? Is the organization capable of handling possible losses? Are there processes within the organization to review and approve next steps?

There are eight major steps in the product development process:
1. Idea Generation – What’s a good idea?
2. Idea Screening – How do we screen?
3. Development and Testing – Who and what is involved?
4. Development of Marketing Strategy – Getting leadership on board
5. Business Case Analysis – Make your case!
6. Product Development Tactics – Details!
7. Pilot/Test – What is the right timeline? How are results measured?
8. Launch/Commercialization – Yes!

For my next article, I will dive deeper into the eight steps of the product development process and what it involves.